Ford Motor is now carrying out a trial at its assembly facility in Cologne, Germany where collaborative robots, also called co-bots, are being utilized to help workers fit shock absorbers to Fiesta cars. The robots are designed to ensure perfect fit and to prevent workers from having to access hard-to-reach places.
The American automaker claims that fitting shock absorbers onto its Fiesta model is a task in itself because of the pinpoint accuracy entailed, and the introduction of robots will guarantee perfect fit every time. The robots have been assigned to over 1000 workers to determine the areas where the co-bots are doing good and to provide feedback on areas where enhancement is required.
The co-bots at the assembly line will lift the shock absorber and position it into the wheel arch before pushing a button for the completion of the installation. The great thing about these robots is that aside from being human-friendly, they also guarantee human safety at work. Equipped with sensors, they can detect an arm or even a finger and stop their work to guarantee worker safety at the facility.
Ford claims that such robots are already employed in electronic and pharmaceutical industries. They have been developed more than two years in collaboration with German robot manufacturer KUKA Roboter.
In a statement, Ford Europe vehicle operations director Karl Anton said that robots are helping make tasks easier, safer, and quicker, complementing their employees with abilities that open up unlimited worlds of production and design for new Ford models.
According to Ford, KUKA Roboter key account manager Klaus Link, they are proud to show the capabilities of their new generation of sensitive robots that are supporting and collaborating with Ford workers by performing ergonomically tough and technically challenging tasks. He concluded that as part of their close partnership with Ford and based on the feedback from employees, they are anticipating for more challenges.
Hamid Moaref has always been fascinated by cars and the automotive industry. His family has a longstanding association with the industry and has been in the tire business for the past 35 years. Raised in Dubai, Hamid attended Capilano University in Vancouver where he graduated with a BBA in marketing before attending an intensive course in magazine publishing in 2005. He has been the publisher and chief editor of Tires & Parts magazine for the past ten years.
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